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Nahuatl 

Un nuevo sistema para la escritura náhuatl
A New System for Writing Nahuatl

En el semestre de otoño de 2015, unos compañeros y yo tomamos una clase de nivel principiante de náhuatl moderno de la Huasteca ofrecida a través del Centro de Estudios de América Latina y el Caribe (LACS) de la Universidad de Michigan en Ann Arbor, estado de Michigan, EE.UU. El Prof. Eduardo de la Cruz Cruz, del Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ) de la Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas en Zacatecas, México, impartió la clase a través de las tecnologías web. Durante el semestre, yo desarrollé un abugida eficaz para la escritura náhuatl en mis fichas y cuaderno ... leer más ...

Na notokah Lalo
“Na notokah Lalo” written in the abugida.

During the Fall semester of 2015, I and several colleagues took an introductory class in modern Eastern Huasteca Nahuatl offered through the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies (LACS) at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, and taught via web technologies by Prof. Eduardo de la Cruz Cruz of the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas (IDIEZ) at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas in Zacatecas, Mexico. During the semester, I developed an effective abugida for writing Nahuatl in my own notes and flashcards. I now use this system for all my hand-written notes and field work ... read more ...

Video introducción al nuevo alfasilibario náhuatl (voz náhuatl).
Haz clic aquí por versión en español.

Herramienta para cambiar ortografías de náhuatl
Nahuatl Orthography Converter

Nahuatl converter
Nahuatl orthography converter

This tool can convert Nahuatl written in any one orthography into any other orthography. A number of well-known orthographies are currently supported, including the Andrews-Campbell-Karttunen (ACK) and the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) systems. The tool can even correctly convert a number of older colonial variant spellings. For example, try pasting in something like “yniqueyti ytoca gadalina çivato ya chicuaçexivitl” and watch it be instantly converted to ACK, SEP, Hasler Modern, and my own abugida-based orthography. Or type something in Nahuatl yourself and watch what happens. Try it now here!

Aztec Glyphs Project

Aztec glyphs project
Aztec Glyphs project.

In 2017, I collaborated with Dr. Stephanie Wood of the University of Oregon and Dr. Gordon Whittaker of Göttingen University to spearhead the creation of an Aztec Glyphs cataloging and analysis project. Here is a link to the talk I gave at our workshop in March, 2017.

Tai Tham ᨲ᩠ᩅᩫᨾᩮᩥᩬᨦ

Hariphunchai Tai Tham Font Project
โครงการฟอนต์อักษรธรรมล้านนา “หริภุญชัย”

Inscribing Tai Tham
Inscribing Tai Tham on a palm leaf.

For centuries throughout the northern regions of Southeast Asia in the Xishuangbanna (西双版纳 สิบสองปันนา) region of Yunnan in China, in the Lanna (ล้านนา) region of Northern Thailand, in the Shan state (รัฐ ฉาน) of Myanmar around the city of Kengtung (เชียงตุง) and in Laos, the Tai Tham script (อักษรธรรมล้านนา หรือ ตั๋วเมือง) has been used extensively to preserve important religious and cultural texts. In Buddhist monastaries throughout the region, texts in Sanskrit, Pali, and local Tai (傣 ไท) languages were traditionally written on palm leaf manuscripts (贝叶经 คัมภีร์ใบลาน) or folded sa paper (พับสา) ... read more ...

Hariphunchai: Designing a Tai Tham Unicode Font

Designing a Tai Tham font
Designing a Tai Tham font

A talk about the Hariphunchai Unicode Tai Tham font project that I gave at the Libre Graphics Meeting in Leipzig, Germany, in April, 2014. Click on the YouTube video of the talk below, or see the slides here.

Designing a Tai Tham font video.

Attestations of Tai Tham orthographic forms

Nahuatl converter
Attestations of Tai Tham orthographic forms.

This is the beginning of a database of images from printed and hand-written Tai Tham sources. This database is being developed to assist the Unicode.org Tai Tham working group and to provide attestations of orthographic forms for use in a new edition of the Hariphunchai font. See the attestations of Tai Tham orthographic forms here.

Key Curry

Key Curry
Key Curry component with cached list of input methods.

Key Curry is a web application and set of web components that allows you to easily type many world languages and specialized orthographies on the web. Key Curry makes it easy for language advocates and web developers to develop specialized keyboard layouts or input method engines to provide support for orthographies of minority languages or for other specialized orthographic tasks. An introduction to Key Curry is available here. Key Curry comes with numerous key maps and input method engines, including a relatively intuitive method for the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), several methods for African languages, and a number of methods for East Asian languages. You may access Key Curry here.

Font Guide

Font Guide
Unicode Font Guide.

This is a now rather out-of-date guide to Unicode-based fonts for free/libre/open source (FLOSS) operating systems. Preference was given to high-quality vector fonts released under SIL International's Open Font License (OFL), the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License (GPL), and similarly open licenses. Although this document focused on fonts that worked well on free operating systems a few years ago, nowadays these fonts will work well on any modern operating System, including Windows and Apple OSX. Access the Font Guide here.

Unicode Primer

Unicode Guide
Unicode Primer.

Computers assign numbers —called code points— to represent letters. Prior to Unicode, there were hundreds of national and ISO standards in existence for the encoding of modern language scripts. Many of these legacy encodings were limited to 256 ( i.e., 28 ) code points. Back in the day, this resulted in numerous problems. A major problem was that 256 code points were frequently not enough even for a single language, much less multiple languages. A second rather obvious problem was that code points set aside to represent letters in one national or ISO encoding would unavoidably be re-used to represent completely different letters in some other national or ISO encoding. This resulted in unreadable emails, mangled web pages, and garbled databases. Fortunately, Unicode came along to solve the problems of multiple encodings by assigning unique code points to the letters and ideographs of (nearly) all of the world's modern language scripts and commonly used symbols. Nowadays it is much rarer to encounter problems, but many software developers are well-aware of issues that still occur and some of the hoops one needs to jump through get things to work the way they should. Although this Unicode Primer is dated, it still contains valuable information that may help you avoid pitfalls. Access the Unicode Primer here.


Fontaine showing what is missing from a font.

Fontaine is a command-line utility that I wrote a few years ago for the Open Font Library project. Fontaine displays key meta information about font files, including but not limited to font name, style, weight, glyph count, character count, copyright, license information and orthographic coverage. One of the most useful aspects of this utility is its ability to tell you what is included and what is missing from a given font. This is especially useful for scholars, graphic designers and anyone who needs to know about the specific coverage of a font before they decide to use it in their projects. Read more about Fontaine here.